Schenectady, New York is the capital of Schenectady County and is the northern point of the tri-cities of Albany, Troy and Schenectady with an area of 11 sq. mi. (28 sq. kilometers) of near the junction of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers.
The first residents of area that is now Schenectady were probably the remnants of the Mohican tribe of the Iroquois Nation before being pushed east of the Hudson River by the Mohawk tribes who generally settled the regions further west that is now the Town of Glenville where the land was more suitable for cultivating maze (Indian corn), Squash and beans that were the staples of the Native American diet along with fish and game, nuts and berries.
When settlers from Holland arrived in the area in the mid to late 1600s, the Mohawk called the settlement at Fort Orange "Schau-naugh-ta-da", meaning "over the pine plains." To the Dutch, however, the name actually meant “before the pine plains” referring to the bend in the Mohawk River where the city lies today.
In 1684 Arent Van Curler of Nijkerk in the Netherland was granted letters patent to Schenectady although the region had been inhabited by Europeans since 1661.
Six years later on February 8, 1690 during King William's War the town was attacked and overrun by forces of France and their Indian allies who burned the town and killed all but 60 of the residents.
During the American Revolutionary War the local unit of the 2nd Albany County Militia fought the Battle of Saratoga and against Loyalist troops.
In 1765, Schenectady was incorporated as a borough and chartered as a city in 1798.
In 1887 Thomas Edison moved his Edison Machine Works to Schenectady. In 1892, Schenectady became the headquarters of the General Electric Company.
The city was known as "The City that Lights and Hauls the World"--a referencing the Edison Electric Company and the American Locomotive Company.
As of census of 2010, there were 66,136 people (down from 96,000 in 1950), 26,266 households, and 14,050 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,096.7 people per sq. mi. There were 30,271 homes with an average density of 2,790.6 per sq. mi. The racial makeup of the city was 59% Caucasion, 24% African American, less than 1% Native American, 2% Asian, 8% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14% of the population. There is a growing Guyanese population in the area. The top ancestries self-identified by people on the census are Italian (13%), Guyanese (12%), Irish (12%), Puerto Rican (10%), German (8%), English (6%), Polish (5%), French (4%). These reflect historic and early 20th-century immigration, as well as that since the late 20th century.